Effect of gender on customer loyalty: a relationship marketing approach
Purpose - This paper aims to investigate the role of gender in the association of relationship marketing underpinnings (namely trust, commitment, communication, and conflict handling) with customer loyalty. Design/methodology/approach - Data for the research were collected through a survey of customers of banks in Malaysia. Hierarchical Multiple Regression Analysis (HMRA) was used to estimate the moderation effect of gender in the RM-customer loyalty relationship. Findings - The results show that the four underpinnings of relationship marketing are directly associated with customer loyalty. Significant gender difference exists in the trust-loyalty relationship. Women are significantly more loyal than men at higher levels of trust in the bank. Gender does not moderate the relationship between commitment, communication, conflict handling and loyalty. Research limitations/implications - The research focuses on banking services; further research in other sectors may be necessary before generalization can be made on the entire service industry. In this study, gender plays an important role in customer loyalty. Female customers tend to be more loyal than male customers when the bank is highly trustworthy. Practical implications - Banks should increasingly demonstrate that they are trustworthy in order to keep customers loyal, more so female customers. They should also be committed to service, communicate effectively and handle conflicts well. Originality/value - Although there are studies on relationship marketing and customer loyalty, research on gender roles is very limited. By contributing to the body of knowledge in this area, this research adds significant value. Moreover, the study presents valuable information on the market behaviour of customers in Malaysia, which may be unfamiliar to many readers.
Marketing Intelligence & Planning
Marketing not elsewhere classified